Property Under Offer in Scotland. What does this mean?

Under offer is a commonly used expression in the property buying & selling process in Scotland. What does Under Offer mean in Scotland.

When a property is for sale in Scotland it’s extremely exciting for the seller to receive an acceptable offer. The offer will have been received at a closing date or be a single offer submitted from a buyer, either way it’s a huge step forward. It’s equally exciting for the buyer who has had their offer accepted.

An aspect I love about the Scottish property system is the huge level of ‘good practice’ between solicitors and estate agents. All due diligence is completed prior to offering, so once a written offer is accepted the viewings stop and the property is marked under offer. This leaves you with a happy seller & happy buyer.

What does a closing date in Scotland really mean?

Gazumping rarely happens in the Scottish property system. Mostly because viewings stop when you accept an offer, so no new buyers have an opportunity to view. In most cases the estate agent or solicitor will have also exhausted all other interested buyers before accepting the offer, so as a seller you should feel confident in your decision to accept and move forward.

Happy Buyer & Happy Seller when a property is under offer

What is the meaning of ‘Under Offer’

The most common use of the term ‘Under Offer’ is understood to mean that the seller has accepted a formal written offer from a buyer. The written offer will be with the solicitors to move forward the legal part of the sale & purchase transaction.

Can I still view the property if its ‘Under Offer’ ?

It’s likely you will not be allowed to view the property if it’s under offer. The estate agent will happily take a note of your contact details and will let you know if the property becomes available again.

No more property viewings once under offer in Scotland

Can I still submit an offer for the property?

An estate agent or solicitor is fully obliged to inform their client (the seller) of every offer received for their home at any point throughout the sale process. This therefore means that even if a property is under offer or sold, you can still offer. As a buyer, whether you have viewed the property or not, you can submit an offer on a property, both verbally and written, at anytime.

Importantly, that does not mean your offer will be accepted or even considered by the seller. Its highly unlikely your offer will be accepted if the property is currently under offer to another buyer. It is very rare for a buyer to offer for a property which is under offer.

I would always recommend you seek independent advice from your own solicitor first before submitting an offer.

Could the property come back to the market?

Whilst a property is under offer there is no legally binding contract in place but the solicitors will be working towards it. Although very rare, both the buyer and the seller can withdraw from the sale/purchase during this time. If this happens it would be highly frowned upon and seen as very bad practice.

Difference between ‘Under Offer’ and ‘Sold’

When a property is under offer there is no legally binding contract in place between the buyer & the seller. The solicitors will be liaising with one another to get the contract (missive) in place. When in place, the property is marked as Sold.

Signing the Contract In Scotland means your Sold

What if there was conditions in the offer?

If there are conditions in an offer e.g subject to sale of a property or subject to a mortgage in principle, then these conditions would likely need to be satisfied before the property is marked under offer. This means the seller will likely continue to market their property for sale until such time as you have satisfied those conditions.

As a buyer, you could make it a condition of your offer that the property is marked under offer whilst you work to satisfy the conditions. Your solicitor will advise you on this option.

Hopefully this has been super helpful to explain what under offer means in property in Scotland.

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